A fellow Dallas Independent School District parent, who recalls Tuesday's sparring match between Carla Ranger and newly installed board president Lew Blackburn, suggests I take another look at the prolific Ranger's blog. That's because, moments ago, she posted yet another item about the interim superintendent debate -- this one suggesting that when the board went behind closed doors Tuesday afternoon to discuss what to do about choosing a temporary replacement for Michael Hinojosa, who was in Cobb County again yesterday for another community chitchat, it violated at least "the spirit" of the Texas Open Meetings Act.
As Patrick reported earlier this week, Blackburn began the called board meeting, where the lone agenda item was the interim super, by saying the board would immediately go into a closed-door executive session to pare down the list of 10 maybes to a handful of finalists. At which point Ranger said: That's what you think. Or, more accurately: "Whatever we do, the process should be open, should be transparent and should be one that the public is fully privy to." Only, not so much. Ranger writes this morning that, unfortunately, that's par for the course:
Since becoming a Trustee I have seen first hand the almost automatic desire of certain Trustees to conduct important public business in private so the public will not know what Trustees said and what they did.
Example, on Tuesday I left the closed executive session because I felt the Texas Open Meetings Act might be violated. There were discussions about process being held outside of the public view. Trustees were expressing their opinions. Nothing that could not have been discussed in full public view.
The Board President appears after the closed session and and open session and later announces the 'decisions' of the Trustees to certain members of the press. The question is: When and where were those decisions made? I am a Trustee; and I do not recall any votes being taken on process in open session. There were certainly discussions and opinions in the secret session but no official action was taken as required by state law.
If no official Board action was taken, by what authority does the President announce decisions that the Board has not officially made in open session?
Of course, as we noted last week, there's no love lost between Ranger and Blackburn.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.